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October 4, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Minke whale calfOn Thursday, Sept. 21st, a newborn Minke whale was beached in Naden Harbour on the sandy shore of the Kung village site in Haida Gwaii. Spotted by Andy Adams, caretaker of nearby Samson Lodge, at 10:30 am, he knew he would need a few pairs of hands to get him back into the water. Andy boated down the bay to Queen Charlotte Lodge and asked if we would be able to help. Operations Manager Brad Palmer cleared the rest of the work day so that we could go and assist. What an incredible opportunity! Eight staff members piled into the boat with buckets to see what we could do. The whale was very still when we got there and we were worried that he was sick or injured. He had a few scrapes on his back, which could have resulted from being separated from his mother by a pod of Orcas and chased into the harbour.

Minke whale calfWe’ll never know why he got there but we knew we had to help him. We kept pouring buckets and buckets of water on him to get his temperature down and after a while he perked up a bit and started breathing deeper and moving slightly. He was so young he still had part of his umbilical cord attached and pink pectoral fins. We dug a bit of the sand out from around him to let the water pool there to keep his temperature down as the tide was coming in. High tide was at 2:30 pm, and he was beached right at the high tide line so we knew we only had a brief window of time to get him back in the water. Very carefully we stood in the water with him and repositioned him towards the deeper water. He responded very well and got livelier as the water got deeper around him. We stayed with him in the water while he got his bearings again. In a big burst of energy he flipped his tail and swam out in a small circle, but came right back to us! I guess he wasn’t quite ready to go yet.

Minke whale calfAbout 15 minutes later he made his final exit to the deeper water and stayed around for a few minutes until we couldn’t see him any longer. What an amazing feeling to watch him regain his energy and swim back out into the ocean! What an incredible animal! With a bit of help, we hope he can now find his mother. What an absolute privilege to see a whale up close like that and be able to help him out. We all agreed that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Janelle Stapleton

 

For more information on Minke whales follow this link: http://wildwhales.org/classify/baleen-whales/minke-whale/

Minke whale calf

Minke whale calf


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August 9, 2017 Duane Foerter0

We love sharing the news of what’s up at QCL and this summer we’re having some fun “up” above – capturing new views of the lodge and the grounds with a camera drone.  Look for awesome new video content coming to the website this fall!  In the meantime, here are some still frames to share our new point of view!

QCL_aerial_viewQCL_aerial_viewSharing the fishing grounds


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June 21, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Persistent westerly winds have been pushing tons of bait into the fishing grounds this week and with the bait comes all forms of sea life!  Humpback whales are a constant presence in the quiet coves between the Mazzaredo Islands and Green Point.  It’s amazing to watch them work their massive bodies around the rocky outcrops, doing headstands underwater, their broad tails waving at us as they corner schools of needlefish against the rocky walls below.  They go about their business patiently, moving back and forth along the shore for hours.  Savvy anglers recognize the feeding whale as a good sign that the salmon will also be there to get their share.  Many a good salmon catch has come right from the whale’s dining room!

Cape Naden continues to be the most productive spot on our grounds, partly because it’s seen the most boats but also because the bait is hanging in that area. Parker Point, Bird 2 and Yatze have all produced decent action at some time during the day.  While we haven’t had much problem with sea lions this summer, there were a couple of busy ones at Cape Naden and Bird 2 on Sunday, helping themselves to the odd Chinook.  With the approaching full moon the flood tides have been more productive than the ebbs and the slack periods are brief but rewarding for those who get their timing right!

We’ve seen some nice big Chinooks come to the scale in the past few days – 35, 35, 36 on Tuesday, 30, 31, 37, 38, 46 on Wednesday, and 32, 38, 38, 43 on Thursday.   It promised big things for the weekend Kingfisher Derby, our 14th annual.  But the action slowed considerably and derby participants worked very hard to find Tyee-class salmon for our popular Catch & Release event.  A handful of Tyees were recorded but no one was able to best Steve Rule’s catch on Saturday that taped out to 33.3 pounds, winning him the $40,000 top prize.  Miles D boated the largest salmon of the weekend with a beautiful 37 pounder on Sunday afternoon, but he wasn’t in the derby! (shades of 2015 when Russ B weighed in a 50-pounder to not win the derby for the same reason!)  Congratulations go out to Steve and his Denver team who did very very well in the overall scoring!


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June 19, 2016 Duane Foerter0

What have you been Herring about us? If anyone was Biting for more Reel reasons to visit the Bell Ringer – look no further! But hurry Onboard – this could get pretty fishy.

Just for the Halibut, we’ve put together 10 reasons why every fisher-Buoy and fisher-Gil should make a stop at the Bell Ringer at the end of their fishing day.

Here at the Bell Ringer, we don’t discriminate! Whether you’re a brain Sturgeon or the Fairy Cod-Mother, the Red Boot Team will show you a good time!

We’re pretty Shellfish here at QCL, and we like to treat our guests right! We offer you some of the tastiest appetizers and refreshing drinks on property!

We don’t Scale back – on anything!

Don’t get your Line in a Tangle! Sit back and watch everyone’s catch from the day get weighed up – you won’t miss the chance to see that Tyee on the scale!

You’ll have a Whale of a time!

We’re not a pain in the Bass! We want you to have the best time, and will go to great Lengths to make it happen!

If you’re sole-ly here for the fishing – great! Chat to our Fish Supervisors about processing your catch and bringing home some extra goodies.

Still need to Mullet over? Troll through our website and check out the photos for yourself!

Remember, any Fin is possible at the Bell Ringer!

Well… What are you Wading for? The Oppor-Tuna-ty is waiting!

 

Jessica I – Fish Services Supervisor

 

QCL Bell Ringer


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June 14, 2016 Duane Foerter0

It’s hard to believe we’re already 2 weeks into the season!  The crew has settled in nicely and we’re so pleased with the great job they’re doing!  Ryan and Rob have assembled a crack team down on the dock to look after all things “fishing.”  The guide team, all 35 of them, really have it going on the water!  The Bell Ringer is a happening place with the RBT (Red Boot Team) ensuring that everybody loves weigh-in time!  Up at the lodge Bre has the front-of-house crew working up a storm with both F&B and housekeeping.  Executive Chef Ryan MacKay has returned “home” and teamed up with Jin to take our culinary program to a whole new level with a talented brigade of enthusiastic cooks. John and his operations crew have all systems GO and the property looking sharp!  Mike “Bosko” Boscovich has returned to skipper the Driftwood with an excellent crew and Natalie and Joanne are super busy in the spa.  We’re all tuned in for a banner 26th year in Naden Harbour!

The fishing so far this summer has been about on par with past seasons.  The volume of feeder Springs – 14 to 18 pound Chinooks – at this point may be down a bit from last summer’s exceptional numbers but we’re seeing more fish in the 18-25 pound class. But guests are able to tangle with a few every day and get lots of nice salmon to take home.  The Tyee count is on track with several fish in the 30’s and a couple of 40-plus fish coming to the boat in the past week.  We always expect halibut fishing to be great in early June as many large fish come inshore to feed on needlefish emerging from the gravel and this season is no different!  Many anglers have been able to get their 2 halibut while trolling for salmon.  Those who love to go offshore to deeper water and hunt for a big one are not disappointed.  Lots of stunning “overs” (halibut 20-60 lb.) have some to the scale.  Already we’ve recorded 14 fish in the 100 lb. plus class including 2 fish over 200!  Monte K tagged a 206 pounder in the first week of June and last week Denis C hauled up a giant that measured 78 inches in length for a calculated weight of 255 pounds!  So no complaints about the fishing!

This week we’ve got very moderate tides with northwest winds to 20 knots but that’s to settle back to light variable winds for Thursday thru the weekend.  Look for lots more news before then!


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June 4, 2016 Duane Foerter0

We’ve just completed our first week of the new season and the atmosphere at the Bell Ringer has been anything but dull! From slinky lingcod to silver tails, many guests are arriving at the dock with a fish box full of oceanic goodies! Guests are being selective about the salmon they bring in, choosing to keep Chinook averaging 10-12 lbs, as well as a great variety of bottom-dwelling creatures including rockfish and some medium-sized halibut.  A great 6-pound Black Rockfish (Bomber) arrived at the dock yesterday – stay tuned to find out why this is an amazing catch!

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Guests come to QCL because they want to fish, but the excitement doesn’t end when the fishing day is done! Bell Ringer chef Brad has been sizzling up some crispy appetizers for the onrush of arriving guests, who can be seen with a cold drink in hand, swapping fish stories (let’s be honest – we’ve all caught the biggest salmon in Haida Gwaii), and relaxing after a full day’s work. From the comfort of the heated patio, guests have been enjoying the scenic views of the harbour and its many inhabitants – mainly otters, seals, and eagles!

The Red Boot Team has been full of energy this week, excited to start the season off well and working hard to accommodate all guests’ personal and fishing needs! Have you tried Candied Salmon? Sablefish? Ask a Red Boot Team member (that’s me!) about how you can try Haida Gwaii seafood with “A Taste of B-Sea” – you’ve never had Albacore tuna this fresh!

There’s no doubt that the Bell Ringer has got all of your “apres peche” (after fishing) excitement and amenities, come and check out the fishiest Bar in Haida Gwaii for yourself! We can’t wait to see you here!

Jessica – Fish Services Supervisor


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May 11, 2016 Duane Foerter1

With just over two weeks until we open the doors for our 26th season, “rig up” is in full gear in Naden Harbour.  The winter tarps have all been removed from the log buildings and “Mike the Painter” has the wood refinishing almost complete.  The new set of Mercury outboards traveled north to the lodge weeks ago – Johnny C and the marine mechanical crew have everything bolted on and are just completing the rigging of our fleet of aluminum boats.  Now that the docks and the breakwater are all in place, they’ll start floating them and the marina will begin to fill up!  The Grady Whites are ready to come home from their winter storage in Sandspit over the next week or so.  John S and his operations team have been busy through the winter with updates and upgrades to facilities – both on land and on the floating equipment.  Advance groups of summer crew are starting to arrive to set up their various departments and prepare for the major staff arrival on May 22nd, when final training sessions will get under way!

It’s shaping up to be an incredible season and everybody here is so pumped up about it!  We’re looking forward to welcoming you very soon!


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March 17, 2016 Duane Foerter0

With only 71 days remaining before opening all is deceptively calm in beautiful Naden Harbour, Haida Gwaii.  A whole team of devoted QCL staff are busy preparing for our 26th season at Queen Charlotte Lodge!  We’ll be ready to welcome you for our biggest season ever!  Can’t wait!

Click on the thumb for the full view!  Thanks to John Sedo for this morning’s stunning view!

Beautiful Naden Harbour on Haida Gwaii


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September 10, 2015 Duane Foerter0

As we button up the lodge for the long wet winter months ahead, it’s time to take stock of our 25th season in Naden Harbour. It was indeed exceptional in many ways.  50709431_wSeveral weeks of warm dry weather from mid-May thru late June was cause for some concern as much of the province was under water restrictions and fire watch. It was a reminder that even up here in the “misty isles” we can’t take anything for granted. While the staff were thrilled at the beautiful summer conditions, the return to “normal” in July provided welcome relief for the operations department.

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June fishing is distinguished by feisty feeder Chinooks but this year the numbers were outstanding! Lots of anglers had their butts kicked by 15-pound Chinooks and loved every minute of it! When you can catch & release 40 or 50 fish like that in a day, you’ve got some stories to tell!

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Halibut… never have we seen better halibut fishing. There were no shortage of nice chickens for the fish box and for those seeking something heavier to haul up, we were always finding new bumps and ridges out in 220 to 330 feet that provided those larger fish in the 30-60 pound class. As for barn doors, best year ever by far! Fifty-two fish over 100 pounds, 10 of them over 200! The QCL record was broken twice this year with a 277 pounder for Dave Bossons and of course, we won’t forget the massive fish hauled up by Bruce, George and Kraig that taped out to 405!

While the early season Coho fishing was pretty standard we didn’t see the usual abundance of Coho in July & August. Whether that was a migration thing or some other issue, we’ll be anxious to hear from the DFO scientists’ reports this fall.

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Chinook fishing, on the other hand, was pretty reliable. Adapting to tides and weather, we were always able to find them. The Tyee count was up noticeably from last year and so was the “big fish” count for those over 40. We saw more new members of the 50 Pounder Club this year, eight of these coming in August! Two fish over 60 were landed this summer and one beautiful giant was released by Trevor Malley on July 30th that measured to 78 pounds! All in all, an incredible fishing season.

Sending out a huge THANK YOU to our QCL crew who did an outstanding job this year! It was our busiest season ever and this great team not only succeeded in sending our guests home happy… they flourished! What an awesome group of people to spend the summer with, it was truly a pleasure to share every day with you!

And to our guests, we hope you enjoyed it at least as much as we did! This is such an incredible part of the world and we’re blessed to be here. Sharing in your excitement and enthusiasm is why we’re here.

Thank you for choosing Queen Charlotte Lodge.  We hope you came away with wonderful memories 50903443_wand amazing stories to share with friends and family as you enjoy those tasty meals of fish that you caught yourself! Of course we’ve already started preparing for next season so we’d like nothing better than to have you come back again! Until then, keep an eye on our website and social media for updates and all the latest news of what’s happening at QCL!


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